Installation guide (development)

Installing System Packages

We’ll assume you’ve installed PostgreSQL (and its contrib package, if on a Linux system) and managed to setup/start the server. PostgreSQL 9.6 at least is required.

You can find instructions on how to install it on Fedora/CentOS here. You can find the same for Debian/Ubuntu here. If you’re a macOS user, you will probably want to use Homebrew:

brew install postgresql
brew services start postgresql


yum install -y gcc redis python-devel python-virtualenv libjpeg-turbo-devel libxslt-devel libxml2-devel \
    libffi-devel pcre-devel libyaml-devel redhat-rpm-config
systemctl start redis.service


apt install -y --install-recommends python-dev python-virtualenv libxslt1-dev libxml2-dev libffi-dev libpcre3-dev \
    libyaml-dev build-essential redis-server

Then on Debian:

apt install -y libjpeg62-turbo-dev

And on Ubuntu:

apt install -y libjpeg-turbo8-dev zlib1g-dev


We recommend that you use Homebrew:

brew install python2 redis libjpeg libffi pcre libyaml
pip install virtualenv

Creating the directory structure

You will need a directory in your file system to store Indico as well as its data files (archives, etc...). Some developers keep all their code inside a dev or code dir. We will assume dev here.

mkdir -p ~/dev/indico/data

We will need a virtualenv where to run Indico:

cd ~/dev/indico
virtualenv env -p /usr/bin/python2.7

Cloning Indico

First, let’s clone Indico’s code base. If you’re going to contribute back to the project, it’s probably best if you clone your own GitHub fork of the project and set it as the origin:

git clone --recursive<your-github-username>/indico.git src
cd src
git remote add upstream
cd ..

Otherwise, cloning the upstream repository as the origin should be enough:

git clone --recursive src

If you’re going to be changing the standard Indico plugins and/or the documentation, you can also clone those:

mkdir plugins
git clone plugins/base
git clone user-docs

Creating the DB

sudo -u postgres createuser $USER --createdb
sudo -u postgres createdb indico_template -O $USER
sudo -u postgres psql indico_template -c "CREATE EXTENSION unaccent; CREATE EXTENSION pg_trgm;"
createdb indico -T indico_template


Let’s get into the Indico virtualenv:

source ./env/bin/activate
pip install -U pip setuptools

cd src
pip install -r
pip install -e .
fab setup_deps

Then, follow the instructions given by the wizard:

indico setup wizard --dev

You can then initialize the DB:

indico db prepare

Running Indico

indico run -h <your-hostname> -q --enable-evalex

Double-check that your hostname matches that which has been set in the config file (by the wizard).

Using HTTPS through nginx (optional)

If you wish to open your development server to others, then we highly recommend that you properly set HTTPS. While you could do so directly at the development server, it’s normally easier to proxy it through nginx and have it serve static files as well.

You should obviously install nginx first:

sudo yum install nginx  # centos/fedora
sudo apt install nginx  # debian/ubuntu
sudo brew install nginx # macOS

Here is an example of a nginx.conf you can use. It assumes your username is jdoe and the hostname is

user jdoe users;
worker_processes 4;
error_log /var/log/nginx/error.log info;
pid /run/;

events {
    worker_connections 1024;
    use epoll;

http {
    access_log off;

    sendfile on;
    tcp_nopush on;
    tcp_nodelay on;

    keepalive_timeout   75 20;
    types_hash_max_size 2048;
    ignore_invalid_headers on;

    connection_pool_size 256;
    client_header_buffer_size 10k;
    large_client_header_buffers 4 20k;
    request_pool_size 4k;
    client_max_body_size 2048m;

    proxy_buffers 32 32k;
    proxy_buffer_size 32k;
    proxy_busy_buffers_size 128k;

    gzip on;
    gzip_min_length 1100;
    gzip_buffers 4 8k;
    gzip_types text/plain text/css application/x-javascript;

    include             /etc/nginx/mime.types;
    default_type        application/octet-stream;

    server {
        listen [::]:80 ipv6only=off;

        access_log /var/log/nginx/acme.access_log combined;
        error_log /var/log/nginx/acme.error_log info;

        root /var/empty;

        return 302 https://$server_name$request_uri;

    server {
        listen [::]:443 ipv6only=off http2;

        ssl on;
        ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
        ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
        ssl_certificate /home/jdoe/acme.crt;
        ssl_certificate_key /home/jdoe/acme.key;

        access_log /var/log/nginx/acme.ssl_access_log combined;
        error_log /var/log/nginx/acme.ssl_error_log info;

        root /var/empty;

        location ~ ^/static/assets/(core|(?:plugin|theme)-[^/]+)/(.*)$ {
            alias /home/jdoe/dev/indico/data/assets/$1/$2;

        location ~ ^/(css|images|js|static(?!/plugins|/assets|/themes|/custom))(/.*)$ {
            alias /home/jdoe/dev/indico/src/indico/htdocs/$1$2;

        location / {
            proxy_set_header Host $server_name;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $remote_addr;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

This configuration also assumes you’ve already got a secret key and certificate stored in ~/acme.key and acme.crt respectively. In most cases you will probably use a self-signed certificate. There are many guides on-line on how to generate a self-signed certificate, so we will not cover it here.

If you’re using SELinux, you will need to set the following configuration options:

sudo setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect 1
sudo setsebool -P httpd_read_user_content 1

Uploading large files will probably fail unless you do:

sudo chown -R jdoe:nginx /var/lib/nginx/tmp/

The Indico dev server should be run with the --proxy option:

indico run -h -p 8000 -q --enable-evalex --url --proxy

You can then start nginx and access directly.